Your volume photography studio is thriving. That’s great news!
As you take on more photo sessions, you’ll inevitably have to take the big leap to expand your team to support your growing business. Maybe you have done everything yourself or had close friends who’ve been helping out, but now, it’s time to look beyond and bring in some fresh faces. That can be scary, but it’s a necessary step in taking your business to the next level.
We’re here to help! In this blog, we will cover the anatomy of a well-written job description, where and how to post it, and even share a few sample job descriptions that cover many studio roles.
Let’s get started!
Writing Compelling Job Descriptions
Sure, it's essential to include the nitty-gritty technical job requirements in your description, but remember to sprinkle in a bit of your studio's personality and culture. After all, skills can be learned, but you can't teach someone a whole new personality. Think about it: you're going to spend those long hours with these folks, so making sure they're a good fit from a cultural standpoint is key.
Here are some things to consider when writing your job descriptions.
- Start with a Compelling Job Title: This is the first thing potential candidates see, so ensure it is enticing and accurate. “Photographer” is a perfectly descriptive title, but doesn’t “School Photography Specialist” sound much more enticing? Make the title specific and creative to stand out.
- Define Clear Responsibilities and Expectations: Ensure applicants precisely understand the role. Describe the skills and qualifications you expect, such as experience, post-processing efficiency, style, knowledge, and customer service.
- Highlight Studio Culture and Values: Represent your studio’s culture and values to attract candidates that align with your vision. For example, if your studio focuses on being eco-friendly or active in the community, share that passion.
- Showcase Growth Opportunities: Advancement is a powerful incentive for top talent. Emphasize opportunities for personal and professional growth in your studio, including working on exciting projects, gaining exposure, or taking on leadership roles.
- Offer Competitive Compensation: You may not have to include salary details in your job description, but transparency could make a difference. Consult with your professional network and ensure you understand the cost of photography labor in your market. If you offer benefits like health insurance, bonuses, or PTO, ensure job-seekers know that.
- Highlight Technology and Equipment: If your studio utilizes specialized equipment or software, mention these tools in your job description. This will appeal to candidates with the experience you need and shorten the onboarding process.
- Be Transparent About Work Conditions: Be upfront about the unique requirements of working for your studio. Travel to photo sessions, long picture days, and managing equipment on location will all be required, so ensure a good fit by ensuring candidates know what they are signing up for.
- Encourage a Personal Touch: Ask candidates to include a brief introduction and a link to their portfolio (if it’s a photographer position) with their application. These elements will provide insight into essential photography traits like personality and creativity.
- Use an Engaging Tone: Treat applicants like customers. Write your job description conversationally and avoid a lot of jargon or terms that candidates may find intimidating. Sure, you're seeking skilled individuals for the role, but at the end of the day, you're essentially "selling" them on the idea of joining your team.
A well-crafted job description does more than just catch people's attention; it sets the stage for a great working partnership. Be transparent as possible, and don’t forget to add that personal touch.
Time to dig into the good stuff! Let’s jump into some sample job descriptions you can use as a base and add your own flare.
Sample Job Titles, Roles, and Descriptions
As your studio grows, you will uncover staffing needs that you must fill to streamline picture days, cover days with multiple shooting locations, process photos, or even manage the administrative tasks of your business. Typical studio roles include poser/assistant, check-in table associate, photographer, office manager, and production specialist.
For small studios, it’s pretty common for one person to wear multiple hats, which isn’t a bad thing. It allows individuals to broaden their skill sets and learn a ton in a short span. If this is the case for your studio, you can create hybrid positions. Just be super clear about what you expect from your team in the “responsibilities” section of your job description. That way, applicants know exactly what’s on their plate from the get-go, and you avoid any tough conversations post-hire.
Starting with a blank slate can be challenging. Here’s a tip: scout for similar job listings and then tweak your favorites to suit your studio’s vibe. You can also use AI tools like ChatGPT to whip up a draft and then add your own flare. Cheers to technology!
Before you try those options, take a look at our templated job descriptions. These are only suggestions. At a minimum, you will need to provide basic studio information and elaborate on some of the more general text, like the “Responsibilities” section. Some posting platforms may have fields others don’t that are required to fill in to post a job. Be sure to scope that out before writing.
We suggest a double-proofing process: review them yourself first, then have another team member review them for tone, accuracy, and grammar.
Posting Your Jobs
Okay, so you’ve written your job description (virtual high-five) - time to make it public!
Indeed and LinkedIn are two of the most popular for their reach and relatively low costs. You also have no-cost options you should definitely take advantage of. Other platforms you may have heard of, like ZipRecruiter or Glassdoor, require monthly subscriptions that run hundreds of dollars to post jobs.
Here’s the rundown on Indeed and LinkedIn.
Indeed is a big name in the world of job hunting. It’s one of the most widely recognized job search platforms with an extensive user base. Indeed casts a very wide net, which can have pros, like ensuring many people view your job, and cons, like receiving applications from unqualified candidates.
- Pricing: You can post for free or opt for paid options like “Sponsored Jobs” to increase visibility. Sponsored postings are priced on a pay-per-click basis and can vary from $0.10 per click to $5 depending on location and competition. View their Employer Guide to learn more.
- Tips: Use relevant keywords in your job title and description. Take advantage of Indeed’s screening questions to filter out unsuitable candidates faster, and utilize the resume database to search for potential hires proactively.
- Reviews: Scrolling through Trustpilot reviews will yield mostly positive feedback like, “Indeed was easy to use, and we had qualified applicants very quickly.” However, there are some negatives to consider as well. One review said, “The billing is hard to understand,” and another called the platform “good” but did state that “the functionality could be better.”
This is probably the first platform that’s crossed your mind. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform designed to connect employers with candidates possessing specific skills and industry experience. Just to give you an idea of the crowd, there are almost 200 million registered users in the United States alone. So, posting your job here means there's a solid chance the perfect candidates will spot it.
- Pricing: LinkedIn allows you to post a job for free and then charges if you post additional positions concurrently. The platform also provides paid promotional opportunities to increase the visibility of your posting. You can find further information here.
- Tips: Use LinkedIn’s powerful search filters to target candidates with the qualifications and connections you seek. Also, remember to leverage your network for referrals and encourage everyone to share your job posting with their network.
- Reviews: The reviews on posting jobs on LinkedIn are mixed. You hear about subpar customer service and unexpectedly high costs among the common gripes in the negative reviews. One thorough, positive review on GetApp stated that LinkedIn is “A place where you can get the best candidate without much effort” and “jobs are so easy to post.”
With so many employers posting jobs and employees seeking employment, it is no wonder there would be many varied experiences with each platform. Treat this process like any other major business decision if you are considering online job posting. Do your research, ask your colleagues where they have found success, give it a try, and don’t be afraid to pivot quickly if you are not receiving the results you expect. Adapt and thrive!
Don't forget there's a treasure trove of free resources at your disposal. Some of the tools you're already using to expand your business can also be handy for building your dream team. And who knows, there might be a few hidden gems in places you haven't explored yet.
Studio Website: You should always post job openings on your website. This helps candidates already interested in your studio’s work easily find opportunities.
Social Media: Share your job postings on your social media channels for the same reason. Followers can also share your job post to help you reach a broader audience. Tip: frequently make “culture” posts on your social platforms to help attract candidates. Did someone film a funny moment on picture day? Share it!
Local Educational Institutions: Reach out to the career services centers at local colleges and universities. They are a great resource to fill entry-level positions with talented people seeking experience.
Professional Network: Ask other photographers you know for referrals, join industry-specific forums and associations, and attend network events to connect with potential candidates.
Employee Referrals: If you have employees, see if they have any friends or associates who would be an excellent fit for your studio and offer some sort of incentive for successful hires.
We’re so excited that your studio is growing! It’s an amazing accomplishment that should be celebrated. Once you’ve popped the bubbly and you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, we hope this article helps kickstart your team expansion journey.
Spend some time thinking about the culture you want to foster at your studio - that’s the foundation for a happy boss and employee relationship. Then, take a pass at reworking one of our job descriptions to match your studio's personality.
Remember, your job description really counts. So does where you post your job and how you promote it. Make the most of all the resources available to you and lean on your professional network and your team for support.
Keep up the great work, and here’s to successfully growing your team!